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A moment was all he had

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March 12th, 2021

Sam’s Steak Shack

 

Tommy retched into the bin in front of him, he would say he breathed in but he didn’t, no rather couldn’t . Vines wrapped their ways around Tommy's throat, their flowers blooming into the only remaining space left. Tommy had tried so hard to keep himself up and going, but now look at him, in the back rooms of a restaurant dying, literally fucking dying. 

 

And his co-workers we’re gonna find his body, slumped against a trash can and his mouth agape, a vine with flowers all around it coming out of his mouth like some sick fucked up waterfall. 

 

Tommy couldn’t do much about it, he was too weak to run and get help, and yelling was completely out of the question. So he just settled down on the tiled floor and held the trash can close to him because he had cleaned these floors too many times for him to dirty it up with his flowers. 

 

He thought about his life for a moment, because a moment was all he had.

October 16th, 2009

Watson Household

2:51 PM

 

“Papa?” Tommy tugged on the pant leg of his father who groaned and pulled his tiny hand off of him and shooed him away. Tommy pouted and crossed his arms, stomping his foot on the wooden floors

 

What Tommy,” his dad added a sharp tone to the ‘what’, he sounded annoyed. Tommy winced and looked at his shoes as he talked 

 

“I was just wondering,” he mumbled the rest out too soft that his dad couldn’t hear him, 

 

“Speak up,” his dad commanded, grabbing Tommy by his wrist. A jolt of fear spiked through Tommys tiny body and he spoke quickly when he asked 

 

“Iwasjustwonderingifyoucouldplaywithme” he took in a huge breath when he finished talking and awaited an answer from his father. His dad smiled softly at him,

 

“Yeah sure we can Tommy, as soon as I’m done working we can play whatever game you’d like, alright?” A warm feeling filled Tommys chest as he grinned big and his dad ruffled his hair. Tommy bounced away happily and waited by his toys all day for his father to finish work! He didn’t want to start yet, in case his dad felt left out, Tommy didn’t want him to be sad.

Tommy couldn’t read a clock, but he was pretty sure his dad had been done with work a while ago. The sun had set and Tommy usually had dinner by now (although sometimes he did not). His toys were cold and still, and so was Tommy, but he stood up and walked out to the living room to search for his father. 

 

He smelled it as soon as he got near the living room, the smelly ‘adult drink’ his dad really liked. His dad got really weird when he drank that stuff, Tommy wasn’t a fan. 

 

“Dad?” He called out, finally taking a step into the living room

 

“Huh?” His father sat up in the arm chair he sat in looking around himself. Tommy approached the chair and stared up at his father, who stank more the room

 

“Dad, you said you’d play with me” Tommy whined and pulled on his sleeve. Tommy’s hand was promptly slapped away 

 

“Jesus Christ are you really complaining about that?!” His dad had an angry look on his face now, “you know Tommy, I work and work all day! To support you ” a finger was pressed against his chest harshly. Tommy felt a horrible feeling filling his chest, very contrary to the feeling he felt earlier.

 

His dad stood up and began shouting at Tommy

 

“I am so exhausted after having to work to support you all day! And-and you have the audacity to complain I didn’t play with you?!” Tommy covered his ears, his dad mixed with the tv was just too much for him. A rough hand grabbed his hand and pulled him close to his father 

 

“Jesus Christ you are such a fucking mistake, a monster ” he growled out “you know I was going to have a good life! And then you killed my wife and caused me so much stress!” He yelled into the young boy's face. Tommy felt spit stick to his cheek and fought the urge to wipe it off, Tommy didn’t dare whine or whimper at his fathers loud voice too scared of the consequences. 

 

Tommy felt his father let go of his hand and watched as he sit back down on his chair,

 

“Go to your fuckin room,” his order slurred together as Tommy ran to his small room, his dad once called it a closet. Tommy laid down on the mattress that was on the floor of his room, there wasn’t room for much else in there although Tommy had snuck toys in a couple times.

 

He closed the door, enclosing him into the confined space and began to hum to himself so he could sleep. The beat was familiar, he didn’t know how but he could briefly remember a nice lady singing this to him. He was really tiny when she sang to him, smaller than he is now (don’t tell anyone he admitted to being small though!). 

 

He couldn’t remember the lyrics, but the tune was enough to lull the 5 year old into a deep sleep for the night, hoping that his father would be back to normal in the morning.

June 8th, 2012

Manburg Elementary School

 

Tommy sat at his desk bored, he had finished his work early and now was waiting for recess to start. He didn’t even know why he liked recess so much, it’s not like he had any friends to hang out with. 

 

Tick

 

Tick

 

Tick 

 

Tick

 

Tommy gripped his hair and tugged at it in frustration, he didn’t want to wait anymore! He stood up and walked over to the teachers desk,

 

“Ms can I go to the bathroom?” He asked. She looked up at him

 

“I don’t know, can you?” She let out a tiny laugh after that then waved him on, Tommy whispered a quick thanks before walking out of the classroom and heading to the bathroom. He shoved his hands into his hoodie pockets as he walked down the hallway,

 

“C-C’mon man we can talk this--” a soft yet high pitched voice could be heard from the boys bathroom. What the hell.... Tommy thought as he hesitantly pushed open the entrance to the bathroom, the pleads became clearer as he entered the restroom as well another voice came into the picture.

 

“Let go of him you bastards!” A higher pitched voice yelled, Tommy looked at a surprisingly tall child being pinned against the bathroom wall by an older kid while a much shorter kid he recognized from his gym class was being held back by two other older kids. 

 

When the door slammed shut everyone’s head turned to Tommy,

 

“Get outta here,” the older kid pinned the kid against the wall growled. Tommy’s heart was racing at the scene he was faced with but he kept cool with his expressions and body language 

 

“Nah,” he responded, walking over to the group. The older kids looked flabbergasted at his response 

 

“I'm serious twerp, get out” Tommy flinched as the older kid used the same tone as his dad when he was drunk. But he didn’t back down, he simply approached the older kid and quickly grabbed the pencil he had in his hoodie pocket and stabbed it into his leg. 

 

“FUCK,” the bully howled in pain and let go of the tall kid who promptly shimmied his way behind Tommy, Tommy approached the other two kids and with a bare of his teeth they ran away taking their leader with them. 

 

“YEAH BITCH GO CRY TO YOUR MOMMYS!” He whooped as they ran away, Tommy turned to see the two boys talking to each other 

 

“Are you ok Boo?” The shorter one fussed over the taller boy. 

 

“I’m good Bo, don’t worry about me,” ‘Boo’ reassured the other one,

 

“Erm hi,” Tommy said looking at the duo, “I’m Tommy,” he introduced, the duo looked up to him silently before the taller one held out his hand.

 

“Hi! I’m Ranboo!” He introduced, Tommy took his hand making the shake quick

 

“And I’m Tubbo!” The shorter one bounced over. 

 

“You’re really cool man, usually no one stands up to those guys,” Tubbo looked in awe at Tommy, Tommy felt his cheeks heat up as he rubbed the back of his neck 

 

“Oh it was nothing!” He insisted. Ranboo smiled kindly at him, 

 

“No need to be modest dude, hey why don’t you sit with us at lunch?” There was a pause of silence as Tommy considered it “U-Unless you have other people to sit with of course!” Ranboo stuttered out at the final minute. Tommy let out a short chuckle 

 

“Nah I’ll sit with you two, I ain’t got anything better to do,” he admitted, 

 

“Great! We’ll see you then, um you’re eight as well, right?” Tubbo inquired, probably to see if Tommy had the same lunch time as them. Tommy nodded dutifully,

 

“Great! We can hang out during recess as well, me and Ranboo are in Ms.Alyssa's class!” Tubbo informed him, Tommy nodded 

 

“I have Ms.Puffy!” He told them back. Tommy looked down at his watch, shit it had been 10 minutes since he left class.

 

“Shit- I gotta go guys, it was nice seeing you two!” Tommy waved as he left the bathroom and speed walked to his classroom. When he opened the door to the classroom no one was in there except Ms.Puffy who was sitting at her desk, presumably grading tests. 

 

“Tommy! Oh there you are!” She immediately stood from her desk and walked over to him,

 

“Are you ok? I was worried when you didn’t come back after a while, you can’t leave class for that long you know that!” She lightly scolded him while fussing over him at the same time. 

 

“I’m fine Ms.Puffy!” He insisted, she sighed and nodded finally

 

“Ok, well what shall we do today? I have cards and-“ Tommy cut her off excitedly 

 

“Oh Ms.Puffy I actually, well some people invited me to play with them today!” He informed his teacher with a big grin on his face. Ms.Puffy looked at him in a proud manner and ruffled his hair,

 

“Then get out there kiddo!” She encouraged him, “just make sure you tell me if they’re mean!” She yelled as he ran out of the room and to the recess yard.

Tommy saw Ranboo and Tubo hanging out by the swings and approached them,

 

“Hey guys!” He smiled at them, a rush of excitement coursing throughout the young boy's body, he never had friends to hang out with at recess before! Tommy usually sat with Ms.Puffy in the classroom and talked with her while she graded papers.

 

“Hey Tommy!” Tubbo greeted slowing down his swing, Ranboo greeted him as well and the boy debated for a while what they were going to do at recess.

 

“Lets race!” Tubbo suggested, Tommy's mouth formed an ‘O’ shape and Ranboo frowned

 

“Tubbo, you know i’m not fast-” Ranboo was cut off by Tubbo grinning mischievously

 

“I know,” the shit-eating grin on his face said it all “3-2-1 GO!” Tubboy yelled fast and began running before the other two boys could even comprehend what he said. Tommy began sprinting after Tubbo, determined to win this race, Ranboo followed shortly after.

 

Tubbo was surprisingly fast for a kid with such short legs, but Tommy picked up his pace to catch up with him. He pushed himself, his legs burned as he forced them to go faster, he was almost there, he was almost there!  The back of Tubbos head was growing nearer and nearer and Tommy was nearly there when he realized that he no longer could breath in the sharp wind blowing in his face. 

 

Tommy’s heart stopped momentarily as he got in shallow breaths that were barely enough to keep him living. He collapsed to the ground, unable to keep himself composed

 

“TOMMY '' He heard Ranboo, who was behind him, yell. In seconds he felt a presence above him mumble a “shoot..” before screaming for Tubbo. Tommy was wheezing on the floor, 

 

“Shit, sit him up!” Hands gripped his shoulders and Tommy was forced to sit up. He felt dizzy, a headache creeped around his brain which he knew would kick in later,

 

“Tubs..?” He mumbled out, a wheeze making through as he tried to breathe. Tubbo looked stressed as he barked an elder to Ranboo Tommy didn’t comprehend

 

“Shit dude, why did you tell us you had asthma?!” Tubbo kept him sitting up, he sounded angry but also worried. Tommy was confused, he didn’t have asthma…? He didn’t have time to say before Ranboo returned with a teacher 

 

“Oh crap, Ranboo and Tubbo will you walk him to the nurse?” The recess aid asked, both nodded and helped Tommy walk as they headed to the door. 

 

Tommy went home early that day, the nurse suggesting he go to a doctor. 

 

Tommy was diagnosed with severe asthma June 9th, 2012 and given an inhaler to help, although he wasn’t sure how much it would help.

February 11th, 2016

Watson Household 

 

“Hey Dad I-“

 

“Jesus Christ, can you stop that, just fucking call me Phil, you aren’t my fucking kid,” his dads Phil’s words stung him, but he respected his wishes despite Phil being his biological father. Tommy nodded

 

“Phil, I’m gonna head out alright?” Tommy anxiously said, Phill slurred a ‘mhm’ and Tommy was on his way.

 

Tommy put on his shoes, they were too tight for him so he never tied them, instead opting for tucking the laces inside. He also slipped on his blue puffer coat he’s had since forever, it was a particularly cold day. 

 

He began down the street, Tubbo and Ranboo couldn’t hang out this weekend so he didn’t know what he was going to do. Maybe he’d take a look around the shopping center near his house, hopefully they wouldn’t mind a twelve year old wandering around the place.

 

He soon made it there, he wasn’t going to buy anything since he didn’t bring any money with him (it’s not like he could afford much anyways). Tommy looked at one of the restaurants, it was less of a fancy restaurant and more one where you could come in and sit yourself and a worker would come up to you and you’d order. It was honestly pretty chill, Tommy had never been there before but Tubbo had gone for his birthday once and that’s how he described it. 

 

Tommy honestly just needed a warm place to stay, and standing out here debating whether or not to go inside wasn’t really Tommy’s thing. He opened the door, startling a bit when a bell rang out 

 

“Hey there! Seat yourself and we’ll get right to you!” A worker called from the kitchen. Tommy sat himself at a tall table near a window in the back so he could still look out without having to worry about people watching him. 

 

A boy who was older than him approached him, the only thing indicating his employship was the apron he wore and the name tag.

 

“Hello I’m Wilbur, what would you like today?” He asked, holding up a pen and pad. Tommy hadn’t had much time to decide 

 

“Erm, surprise me!” He said, the employee smirked and scribbles on the paper 

 

“Ok, you’re gonna love this” a grin spread across the worker's face as he walked away, Tommy suddenly regretted his decision. He anxiously awaited his food, feeling bad because he knew he was going to have to dine and dash here and it would be yet another restaurant he could never go to again. It was nearly 10 minutes later the worker, Wilbur, came back with something that looked like a burger, but wasn’t quite. He placed the food on the table,

 

“Enjoy,” he said, that grin still evident on his face. Tommy eyed the burger looking thing and took a slow and small bite out of it, and then he took another bite, then another, then another, then another- and oh god he had finished the meal. That was quite possibly the best meal Tommy had in  a while, he still felt bad that he couldn’t pay, and now felt even worse that he couldn’t come back here. The worker had been funny and kind, and the food was delicious, but Tommy had to prioritize needs over wants, so he stepped away from the table and began to cooly walk towards the door of the restaurant. 

 

“Hey! I haven’t given you your check yet” Wilbur called, like a nice reminder from the kitchen, Tommy paused in his steps the guilt stabbing him even deeper than before. He ran, he swung the door open ignoring the surprised sound Wilbur made and began to run . Tommy hated this part of dining and dashing, he had never gotten caught before and he sure as hell wasn’t getting caught now. Tommy’s blood went cold when he heard a door opening and closing in the distance and not very far after footsteps behind him.

 

He pushed himself even farther, feeling his cheeks go red from the cold win hitting his cheeks harshly,

 

“KID WAIT!” it wasn’t Wilbur's voice, someone else’s he didn’t recognize, the voice didn’t sound mad but Tommy didn’t care. He was going to keep running but his lungs began to seize up, and Tommy couldn’t breathe anymore, fuck he couldn’t breath. He fell on the pavement and began coughing and wheezing, he knew he was fucked at this point

 

“Hey hey,” the man knelt down next to him “ shit , kid are you alright?” the man muttered the swear word and a hand was placed on his back to which Tommy slapped it away. He dug his hands in his pockets and pulled out his inhaler and pressed it to his mouth immediately, soon fresh air filled his lungs and Tommy was momentarily relieved, but soon enough he was coughing again.

 

“Listen, let me take you back to the restaurant and we can help you there,” the man offered, kindly reaching out to give Tommy a hand. Tommy shook his head,

 

“No-” he paused to cough, a disgusting taste filling his mouth as it did every time he had an asthma attack “I’m fine,” he insisted, the man sighed and pulled Tommy to his feet.

 

“Sorry, but I can’t leave you out with good conscience, c’mon,” Tommy leaned on the man and begrudgingly let him help him back to the restaurant where he was taken to the back as soon as they got there. He was sat down on a chair where he took another puff of his inhaler, stupid thing barely works, he grumbled in his mind. When he finally looked up he finally got a look at the face that helped him here, he wasn’t quite pale or tan but what caught Tommy’s attention were the patches of green on his face, and the fact that there was no white in his eyes, instead replaced with a dark green color.

 

“Are you alright now?” he asked, the nametag he had on said his name was “Sam”, what a pussy name Tommy thought to himself, he nodded to Sam. he saw as Sam pulled up a chair and sat in front of him,

 

“Ok, now we need to talk a bit” his voice was stern and cautious, as if he didn’t want to scare Tommy “Why didn’t you pay?” his voice level, and calm as to not make Tommy run off. Tommy mumbled his answer, it was barely audible and Sam kindly asked him to repeat,

 

“I,,di,,,,mon” He could still barely be heard, Sam asked one more time for him to repeat,

 

“I didn’t have the money,” he admitted, his face turning red from embarrassment. Tommy expected to be pelted with yells at him, but instead there was a small sigh

 

“What’s your name?” Sam inquired from the boy, 

 

“Tommy,” Tommy admitted. A firm, yet comforting hand was placed on his shoulder

 

“Tommy, you’re just a kid,” Tommy resisted the urge to call himself a big man “and I don’t know where your parents are, but just know, if you ever are in need of a meal or just a place to satay, you can come here” Sam radiated comforting energy that seeped its way into Tommy’s skin and tempted him to fall into the comfort. Tommy was never good at resisting temptation, he fell into a hug the man offered, not letting the tears that threatened to spill out, out. 

October 29th, 2018

Sam's Steak Shack

 

Tommy had had a pounding headache all day, it felt like something was trying to tear through his skin, it didn’t help that Phil was yelling at him all day. He staggered into the familiar restaurant, trying to keep his pain non-evident.

 

“Hey Tommy!” Sam called from behind the counter, Tommy waved to him and sat down at the bar seating at the side so they could talk. The pain only grew with every step he took, the stupid music playing throughout the restaurant was so loud, why was it so loud?

 

 Tommy gripped his head and stared down at the counter gritting his teeth,

 

“Toms are you ok?” He looked up to see Wilbur with a rag in his hands, presumably to wipe the counters. Tommy hummed a bit before laying his head back down,

 

“Do you want to go in the back?” Wilbur asked softly, sensing the boy's pain from a mile away. Tommy nodded profusely, not quickly though as that made his headache worse. Wilbur walked him to the back room where he hung out a lot, it was quieter back there and they had chairs to sit down on.

 

Wilbur stared at him in concern 

 

“Tommy what’s wrong?” He asked, placing a hand on his shoulder, Tommy groaned and gripped his head

 

“It’s my head, I feel like something is trying to stab through my skin,” he growled out in pain. Tommy slapped his hands over his ears hoping it was help lessen the pain,

 

“I’m gonna go get Sam, alright?” Wilbur spoke softly, he hoped Sam could understand this better, because he didn’t think this was just a headache. 

 

A few moments later Tommy heard the door open and close and familiar footsteps approached him,

 

“Tommy are you- HOLY SHIT” Sams usually calm voice was panicked, Tommy whimpered at his loudness and cupped his ears to muffle it all. Sam looked at him apologetically 

 

“I’m sorry for being loud Tommy,” he apologized, a worried look still evident on his face, “but we gotta get you to the hospital,” he began to hoist Tommy off the chair, letting him lean on him. Tommy began to pull away,

 

“No, nno,” he stammered out, “I can’t afford a hospital bill,” he slurred out as he tried to sit on the chair again, his aching headache getting worse.

 

“I’ll cover it,” Sam said instantly picking Tommy up bridal style and carrying him out of the restaurant, 

 

“Wilbur you’re in charge,” Sam called out quickly as he ran out the door and to his car. Sam laid him down gently in the front seat and began to drive as soon as he got to the driver's seat. 

 

Tommy felt very hazy for the ride there, the only thing he could focus on was the pounding on his head. He was pretty sure he had started crying from the pain, what was happening to him?! Was he dying?! Was he gonna die in the car next to sam?!

 

“Tommy, listen to my voice,” a distant noise called out to him, “we are almost there bud, just listen to my voice,” Sam kept talking, just about random things, he told stories from when he was Tommy's age and plans he had with the restaurant. 

 

The car came to a stop and before Tommy knew it he was back in Sams arms and inside a bright room, which didn’t help his head. He heard Sam talking about something to the front desk lady, he couldn’t quite make it out  though, something about hybrids. Tommy was pretty sure he was human, he was told his mom was human, and his wings would've grown in already if he was an again like his father.

 

More movement and he was laid down on something with strangers above him, what was going on? Where was Sam, Tommy wanted Sam. 

 

“Countdown from ten Tommy,” one of the strangers told him too, he almost didn’t out of spite, this guy wasn’t his dad! But despite his thoughts, Tommys mouth moved on its own and began to count.

 

“1,,,2,,,3-“

 

That was as far as Tommy got before everything went dark, but the pain stopped, so he wasn’t complaining. It didn’t last long before Tommy awoke to an annoying beeping sound, his immediate thought was to slap it like his alarm. But when he reached out nothing was there, he groaned and tried to sit up, immediately met with a shocking pain in his head. Well, not really shocking, but Tommy had just woken up. 

 

When he finally opened his eyes he was greeted with those same stupid bright lights, and he saw the door to his room beginning to open. He blinked his eyes profusely,

 

“Sam..?” He called out, voice quiet and scratchy, there was a pause in the footsteps before the person came barreling at him. Tommy’s vision finally decided to not be blurry when he was encapsulated in a big hug, he knew exactly which green hair he saw while in that hug.

 

“Sam, what happened to me?” He rasped out the question, his voice was still scratchy from just waking up, Sam looked to him almost in disbelief

 

“Tommy, did-” he paused and cleared his throat, “did you not know you were a hybrid?”. That question hit Tommy like a truck, but Tommy was human, it was impossible for him to not be,

 

“W,,What?” he said out involuntarily out of confusion, he saw Sam's face, he looked sad.Sam grabbed a hand held mirror in Tommy’s room and held it up so he could see his face, and what Tommy saw almost sent him into shock. Little red horns poked out of his hair, imp traits… he thought, well if he was an imp that means--

 

Tommy looked down to see a red tail with a pointed end also attached to him, he began to breathe heavily and started sputtering,

 

“But that’s impossible- I, why did I have to come here for them to come out anyways?!” He asked in a panic. 

 

“Well imps horns and tail growing in are especially painful and can cause excessive bleeding so they usually go under surgery and have to get stitches,” Sam explained, Tommy sighed and nodded, he would have to get answers from Phil when he was out of here.

--

October 30th, 2016

The Watson Household

 

Tommy slammed the door open to his house,

 

“PHIL!” he yelled out into the rotting place. The house had always been a mess, Phil never bothered to clean up his messes and it was hard for Tommy to keep up with this place. He kicked trash on his way to get to the living room to see Phil watching tv as always.

 

“T’mmy?” He slurred out looking from the tv for once, “what’re those on your head, did’ya get ‘em for ‘alloween?” he asked, sitting up in his chair, “Those look… really, real” he pointed out, he must’ve not been too drunk, as he seemed to be sobering up a bit. Tommy was quiet as he bore his gaze onto Phil,

 

“Phil, you told me mom was human,” Tommy nearly growled out, Phil rolled his eyes at him,

 

“She was,” he responded. Tommy scoffed and  crossed his arms, “Yeah? What’re these then, huh?!” he pointed to his new horns and tail. Phil huffed softly,

 

“I’m assuming a costume for halloween,” He muttered in response, Tommy was seething at this point,

 

“Did you even pay attention to where I’ve been for the past 2 days?!” he nearly screamed. Phil shook his head,

 

“You’re old enough to go out on your own,” he explained, his voice lacking any care at all, Tommy pulled as hard as he could on his horns and his tail, making him whimper, they still hurt from the surgery.

 

“I have been in the hospital ” he spat out after he showed Phil the proof they were real, “I had to get surgery for these things!” Tommy was in disbelief at how uncaring Phil looked at him,

 

“Well then this just means one thing,” the drunk said as he stalked closer to the young teen, “this means that bitch cheated on me, and you aren’t my kid, I don’t have to house or feed you,”. Dread filled Tommy’s body, please don’t say it please don’t say it

 

“So get out of my house,” Phil growled, his face inches away from Tommy’s ear. Tommy was frozen in fear, he didn’t have any place to go after this, he couldn’t bother Tubbo or Ranboo for a place to stay, at least not forever. He wouldn’t want to burden Sam with that, and Wilbur was barely getting by as it was. 

 

“GET OUT OF MY FUCKING HOUSE!” Phil now screamed, Tommy, with more fear than he had ever felt before he scurried out the door into the dark of the night. Damn that hospital for letting him out at night time, he ran with bare feet in the road, perhaps he could stay at Tubbos house for the night. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and stopped on the sidewalk and began to text Tubbo,

 

BIG MAN: Hey Tubs, I know it’s late but can you have a sleepover?

 

Nuke_Bitch: Yeah! What time are you coming over?

 

BIG MAN: um, now!

 

Tommy placed his phone in his pocket and began to run again

--

Tommy knocked on Tubbo’s door around 10 minutes later, the door opened quickly

 

“Hey Tommy! You-” he paused and looked at Tommy, “Tommy, are you ok big man? You don’t have any shoes on, and I don’t ever remember you wearing those clothes before,” Tubbo pointed out. Tommy nervously fiddled with his fingers, the hospital had gifted him new clothes, a really soft sweater and jeans. 

 

“New clothes, and I erm… forget shoes?” He didn’t sound sure of himself, but Tubbo took that as an answer and invited him in. Tommy was surprised Tubbo didn’t bring up his horns and tail-

 

“You never told me you were a hybrid,” Tubbo mentioned as he and Tommy walked up the stairs, Tommy gave him an awkward laugh

 

“Yeah I found out last night,” he told the truth, Tubbo made an ‘o’ shape with his mouth and nodded. 

 

Tommy stayed the night  at Tubbo’s house but had no clue what he was going to do the next night, so he slowly approached the door of the house that was once his. He trembled as his fist met the door in a light knock, he heard heavy footsteps stumble towards the door and anxiety rose in him.

 

“Whatdya-” Phil stopped speaking once he saw Tommy, he curled his lip in a snarl and opened his mouth to yell, Tommy got to him before he could,

 

“WAIT!” Tommy screamed raising his hands to show he had nothing, Phil glared down at him as if waiting for him to talk again, “I don’t have anywhere else to go Phil, and-” he swallowed down a sob, “please let me come back,” he begged, his voice cracking. Phil stared at him in silence with a judging look on his face for several minutes before grabbing Tommy by the collar and dragging him inside the house,

 

“Fine, but you have to start paying for all your shit,” he shook Tommy in his grip, “I’m not paying for food, and you have to split the rent with me,” Tommy knew there was no debate in this argument. So he simply nodded in acceptance and Phil let him go, he ran to his room and made a call,

 

“Hey Sam, are you hiring?”

August 26th, 2018

Essempi High

 

There was this guy at Tommy’s school who always hung out alone, who gave Tommy the creeps honestly. He wore his green hoodie, with the hood up and a black face mask, according to some people he used to have friends, not anymore. He always kept to himself, not talking, looking, hell Tommy wouldn’t doubt it if Dream breathed in different directions than people. That is why when the older teenager approached Tommy he was confused.

 

“Hi” Dream said awkwardly, Tommy examined the boys voice, as he had never heard it before,

 

“What’d ya want?” Tommy asked in a sharp tone, 

 

“Um, do you wanna work together for the project?” he asked shyly, fiddling with the sleeve of his hoodie. Tommy cursed to himself when he realized he had zoned out for the majority of the explanation of this project, he would’ve gotten anyone else as a partner if he knew they were having them.

 

“Sure,” he replied in a bored tone, Dream seemed happy with that,

   

“Great!” he grinned and sat down next to Tommy. Tommy internally groaned at the whole situation, he begrudgingly began to work on the project with Dream. Now Tommy wasn’t a complete asshole, he was nice to Dream, just like how one would act to someone they just met, and Dream was kind back. 

 

By the end of the class period he had exchanged numbers with Dream so they could work outside of class, Dream hadn’t been too bad of a fellow, Tommy honestly didn’t understand why he didn’t have any friends. Maybe he could introduce him to Ranboo and Tubbo at some point, but for now he just wanted to get to know him.

 

He met up with Dream over the weekend at Dream’s house, and it turned out Dream was filthy rich. He owned a huge mansion, with a huge yard, the works! Tommy stared in awe at it all as he walked through the halls, Dream chuckled at the younger boy

 

“I haven’t had people over in a while sorry if things are messy,” he apologized and Tommy shook his head,

 

“No need to apologize my friend, your house is amazing,” he said. They spent all day in Dreams room, honestly doing more talking rather than working but Tommy was happy he did it because Dream was honestly a pleasure to talk too,

 

“Dream you’re honestly so nice dude, why doesn’t anyone hang out with you-” Tommy stopped suddenly as he spoke realizing what he had just said, fuck he had probably just ruined this friendship. Dream was quiet, his lips pressed together in a thin line, Tommy was about to apologize when Dream spoke,

 

“My old friends spread rumors about me, that I was a horrible person, and well everyone believed them, never had a friend since,” He explained sadly. Tommy was in shock,

 

“Well it’s a good thing you have me as your friend now, eh?!” He elbowed Dream playfully, Dream smiled at him,

 

“Thank you Tommy,” he replied happily.

 

Their friendship only grew after that, Dream and Tommy hung out all the time, almost exclusively! Tommy felt bad about not being able to hang out with Tubbo and Ranboo as much, but Dream would always get sad when he wouldn’t hang out with him, and Tommy hated seeing him sad. Tommy had also taken a couple- many days off work to see him on the weekends, Sam didn’t mind but he had been concerned about how many shifts he had dropped. It was a friday and Dream had approached Tommy as he was getting on his bus,

 

“Hey Tommy! Wanna hang out after school? We can go straight to my house!” He grabbed Tommy’s arm and began leading him towards his car. Tommy shook his head and chuckled,

 

“Sorry big man, I have a shift tonight!” He explained, Dreams smile shifted into a frown, Tommy could tell even with the mask on,

 

“C’mon Tommy we haven’t hung out in so long!” he begged, pulling on Tommy’s arm. Tommy shook his head again,

 

“We just hung out yesterday, we can hang out tomorrow Dream,” Tommy promised him with a sympathetic look. Dream huffed and let get of Tommy’s arm, pushing Tommy back a bit

 

“Fine.” he nearly growled out and stomped away, Tommy felt guilt twinge in his heart but made his way to his bus anyways. He felt off just walking away, he didn’t want Dream to be upset with him, but he also had to work! His rent was due soon, and Phil wasn’t lenient. He sat down on his usual seat in the back of the bus and stared out the window. He grimaced when he saw Dream leaning on his car in the nearby parking lot.

--

His shift was exhausting, he had to take extra hours for the time he missed hanging out with Dream. He wheezed on his bed, his lungs had been getting worse lately, they had always been bad but especially as of late. He was starting to think this wasn’t asthma anymore, probably something more serious but he couldn’t afford to go to the doctors let alone get a diagnosis, plus the treatment. 

 

He took all the cash he had out of his pockets and began counting, he had just enough for rent this month. Paying it had been hard lately, Phil raised rent last month after he lost his job, now Tommy was the sole provider for the house. It already had been hard to pay before but now it was just so much worse, Tommy’s stress was through the roof, but hanging out with Dream always made him feel better! Sure Dream was a little pushy but Tommy was just sure he was just happy to have another friend after a while.

 

Tommy checked his phone, it had been on silent because of work and he couldn’t wait to see if any chew-tubers he liked uploaded. Before he could see any chew-tube notifications, message and phone notifications covered all of Tommy's homescreen.

 

 All of them were from Dream, Tommy cursed at himself lightly and opened the messages. What if he got hurt?! Tommy really hoped he wasn’t right, his eyes scanned the messages and missed phone calls. Tommys heart stopped at the messages,

 

Dream: Tommy I wanna talk!

Dream: Tommy c’mon lets chat!

Dream: Tommy, stop ignoring me :(

Dream: Tommy I’m being serious stop ignoring me

Dream: Tommy if you don’t answer I might do something bad

Dream: Tommy it’ll be your fault if I do something bad to myself

Dream: Tommy do you want me to relapse?!

Dream: I guess you really do hate me

Dream: I thought we were fucking friends 

Dream: you’re a piece of shit Tommy never talk to me ever again

Dream:[photo attachment] this is your fault. 

 

Tommy gagged at the image Dream had sent and looked in horror at the other ones. Guilt thundered it’s way through Tommy as he fumbled with his shaking hands to text Dream back.

 

BIG MAN: Dream I’m so sorry I was working 

BIG MAN: Dream please respond I’m worried about you

BIG MAN: Dream I didn’t mean to be a bad friend pls answer me, I need to make sure you’re ok

 

Tommy stopped the messages at that, he didn’t know what else to do. A heavy feeling found it’s way hanging on Tommys heart and guilt pooled in his stomach, he hadn’t even realized he’d been crying. He wiped away his tears slowly with a trembling arm as he curled up on his bed, not even bothering to take off his apron. 

 

He slowly let sleep take over his trembling body that hiccupped with sadness. The feelings of guilt and hurt slowly lost themselves in the boy's unconsciousness, soon to return when he awoke again.

Tommy sprinted when he saw Dream's car in the school parking lot, not giving a damn about his hurting lungs. He wheezed out a breath in front of Dream as the older boy just looked down at him,

 

“D,,Dream are you ok?” Tommy asked desperately, “I didn’t mean to ignore you last night, I swear!” Tommy promised. Dream just glared down at him in silence and turned away with his school stuff and walked towards the school. Tommy fought back more tears he thought he had cried out in his sleep, he really was a bad friend.

Tommy could barely pay attention to any of his classes; he was too focused on the fact that he had hurt his best friend. Tubbo and Ranboo had noticed apparently,

 

“Hey Bossman, are you doing alright?” Tubbo asked half jokingly, his voice was laced with worry. Tommy nodded silently and stared up at the board,

 

“Tommy you’ve been acting off lately, you haven’t spent as much time working, or with us, are you sure everything is ok…?” Ranboo asked from next to Tubbo. Frustration bubbled up within Tommy as he whipped his head towards the two,

 

“What?! Just because I’m changing up how I do things doesn't mean you have to be all I’m my business,” he snapped angrily. Ranboo flinched back and Tubbo gave him a look,

 

“Well fine, we won’t bother you then.” Tubbo huffed and turned away from Tommy. Ranboo looked sad but turned away from Tommy as well, guilt churned in Tommy's gut. First being mean to Dream, now to Tubbo and Ranboo, he really was a horrible friend. 

 

Maybe he didn’t deserve these friends, scratch that he definitely didn’t deserve these friends. They were too good for someone like Tommy.

It was lunch time when Tommy even talked to another person, two boys who looked Dream's age approached him. One had a white bandanna that contrasted against his pitch black hair, he looked strong. The other had weird glasses on and a blue t-shirt, he didn’t know why they were approaching him, Tommy didn’t need any more friendships to fuck up.

 

“You’re Tommy, right?” The black haired one asked, Tommy swallowed his food and nodded, “ok cool, we gotta talk kid” those words sent anxiety rocketing through him. He usually heard those words from Phil when he was angry,

 

“What do you want?” He asked, averting eye contact from the two. They were silent for a moment, the black haired one glancing at the one with the glasses,

 

“I’m Sapnap by the way, that’s George” he pointed over to glasses, ”You're friends with Dream right?” He asked. Tommy froze for a second, was he friends with Dream? He had been so horrible to him, he didn’t know if Dream would consider him a friend still.

 

“Yeah,,” he mumbled, he already didn’t like this conversation, he began packing his things back in his lunchbox slowly. 

 

“Alright how do I put this,,,” Sapnap thought briefly,

 

“Stop being friends with him,” George finished his sentence, Sapnap nodded in confirmation. Tommy definitely needed to get out of this conversation now, Dream probably wouldn’t like it if he was talking to people trying to stop their friendship.

 

“I have to go.” He grumbled and stood up with his lunchbox, the two stood up with him to his annoyance. Tommy sped up his walking to get away from them,

 

“Kid, wait!” George called from behind him, Tommy just walked even faster digging his fingers into the straps of his backpack. Tommy made sharp turns around corners but the duo was persistent it seemed and followed Tommy throughout the hallways calling his name. 

 

Tommy stopped suddenly and spun around to the two with an angry face,

 

“What do you want from me?” Tommy growled out, narrowing his eyes at the two. George finched ever so slightly at the aggression and Sapnap sighed,

 

“Listen, we used to be friends with Dream,” he paused as if reflecting on a memory, “we know what it’s like with him,” he placed a hand on Tommys shoulder with a sad look on his face. Tommy quickly shrugged his hand off him and glared up at him,

 

“I don’t know what you’re implying here but I am happy being friends with Dream,” he hissed and turned to start walking again. Tommy glanced down to his palm as he felt something placed in it, a paper

 

“If you ever need me,” Sapnap said and awaited Tommys reaction. It had some numbers scribbled on it, Sapnap gave Tommy his number. Tommy refused to look up at the older boy before walking away.

Tommy had added Sapnaps number to his contacts for some reason, he didn’t know why but he did. Tommy walked on his way to the bus when he felt a hand grip his arm,

 

“To the car. Now.” Dream growled out from behind him. Tommy gulped and nodded walk next to Dream who had a death hold on him, making his arm ache. Dream dragged Tommy through the parking lot, Tommy could feel the anger radiating off him, it made Tommy’s anxiety spike. Dream opened the passenger side door for him but before he could get in a voice interrupted them.

 

“Hey Tommy,” it was Sapnap, “what’re you doing? We have a project to work on in math together,” the lie was good, smooth, Tommy would’ve believed it if he didn’t know for a fact Sapnap wasn’t in his math class. Tommy stayed still,

 

“I think I’m going home with Dream today..” he mumbled out, his voice quieter than a mouse. Tommy felt Sapnaps level of anxiety raise,

 

“Come on man, you know how hard our teacher is on us,” Sapnap looked at him desperately. Tommy nodded,

 

“I know, but I’m sure it’ll be fine,” he whispered as he placed himself in the car. Dream smiled at Sapnap and walked over to the driver's seat, starting the car up. Sapnap hesitantly moved out of the way of the car and watched it drive off, a pit forming in his gut.

The tension in the car was awful, Tommy almost wished he’d gone with Sapnap. When they got to Dream's house it got even worse, it seemed he just got angrier on the car ride over. 

 

“Do you feel bad for what you did?” Dream asked, glancing down at Tommy, Tommy anxiously played with his sleeve.

 

“Y,,yes I’m sorry,” he said genuinely, Dream scoffed and grabbed his arm pulling him up the stairs of the house,

 

“Can you not fucking mumble all the time,” Dream miffed. Tommy mumbled a quick sorry as Dream rolled his eyes at him and shoved him on a couch upstairs. They both just stared at each other for some time, Dream looking like he expected Tommy to say something, and Tommy not knowing what to say.

 

“Do you want to know how to make what you did up?” Dream asked, Tommy nodded swiftly, he wanted the tension between him and his friend to go away. Dream smiled at that and pulled him off the couch he had once shoved him on, “good! Follow me,” he ordered and led Tommy to his backyard. Tommy was confused, what did Dream want him to do?

 

“Dream what-” Tommy barely got two words into his sentence when Dream interrupted him with a single, simple word.

 

“Run,” he ordered, this didn’t help Tommy’s confusion, “I want you to run up and down this backyard 20 times,” he explained further. Tommy’s stomach dropped, Dream was rich, and his backyard was huge . With Tommy’s lung issues there was no way he would be able to run this more than twice without trouble, 

 

“But Dream you know I have-” Dream scoffed and rolled his eyes at Tommy.

 

“Blah blah blah, asthma this, asthma that,” he mocked, making Tommy shrink in his skin, “do it.” He growled, there was no room for reasoning in his voice. So Tommy took a deeper breath and began running.

 

1 lap

 

2 laps

 

3 laps 

 

4 laps

 

“D,,Dream please I’m sorry,” he wheezed stopping in front of the green man, his lungs could barely get enough breathe in to keep Tommy standing. Dream just shook his head with a hard stare, Tommy heavily panted holding his stomach. 

 

5 laps 

 

6 laps

 

7 laps

 

Tommy felt his chest tighten with every breath he tried to take, he begged Dream after every lap to let him stop, but Dream just gave him that same hard glare.

 

8 laps

 

9 laps

 

10 laps

 

Tommy physically couldn’t keep himself up anymore, the only sound in the large yard was the wheezing coming out of the young teen. He lay on the grass trying to get a hold of his breathing when he heard footsteps coming towards him.

 

“Tommy you really can’t do anything, can you” Dream tutted, “it’s alright, I forgive you” he said, Tommy felt his body being lifted off the ground and being carried into the cool house. Tommy let himself melt onto the couch he was placed on as his lungs made a hissing sound at every attempt of breathing. 

 

Something Tommy recognized instantly as an inhaler was pressed against his lips, there was  clicking noise and a puff of air filled Tommy’s lungs, helping him momentarily. There were a couple more clicks and puffs of air before Tommy could breathe semi-comfortably.

 

The inhaler hadn’t really been effective in the past couple years. Sure they gave Tommy air in the moment but they didn’t do their job of clearing up his lungs. Tommy always felt like there was something resting in his lungs, it had been growing over the years making his breathing worse and worse. The inhalers' tiny pumps of air were no match against it, it was like it was rooted in him.

 

Tommy began to sit up on the couch despite him being exhausted, he was gingerly pushed back down by Dream.

 

“Rest, you need it,” he insisted and Tommy didn’t protest when his eyes rested closed.

Tubbo stared at his and Tommy's discord messages anxiously, he wanted to make up with Tommy from earlier but he hadn’t even been active for hours. Ranboo hadn’t heard from him either, Tubbo was worried sick especially after he heard what was causing Tommy’s strange behavior.

 

A new guy in his life, Dream, the weird loner kid no one talked too. The reason he was so worried was because Dream’s old friends had approached him after an attempt to talk to Tommy. Apparently he had been dismissive and rude, insisting that him and Dream were good friends. They told Tubbo about how Dream is manipulative and a bad friend, and Tommy being with him wasn’t good.

 

He felt like an idiot for not noticing sooner, Sapnap said not to blame himself as Dream was secretive with his tricks. He couldn’t help but not believe him, he leaned back in his chair unsure if his best friend was safe, and happy. 

 

“I’m so sorry Tommy,”

--

When Tommy woke next he was alone on the couch, he stood up, he was still wheezy from that run. Whenever Tommy had his asthma attacks he would always feel like something was rooted within him, and feel stuff sticking to his throat. The doctor said it was just mucus and Tommy was inclined to believe him, he took a deep breath and hurriedly made his way towards Dream’s front door. 

 

“Toms, you don’t plan on leaving do you?” Tommy froze at his friends(?) voice,

 

“I have a shift today,” he murmured, a new anxiety was in his stomach today, surely he wasn’t scared of Dream..? Dream tsked and shook his head grabbing Tommy by the shoulders and leading him back to the couch,

 

“That will simply not do, you’re still recovering from yesterday,” Tommy didn’t try to fight as he was sitting back down on the couch. Although he did take a deep breath, although it hurt he didn’t let it show

 

“See big man, I'm fine,” he insisted, trying to get up again. Dream looked angry now and pushed Tommy back down on the couch, a dry cough ripping from the boys chest as a result,

 

“Look at that! Lying to your best friend, you’re lucky I even let you stay here, now stay here,” Dream commanded. Tommy stayed sitting right on that couch for the entire day, Dream would bring him meals and eat with him talking about “what a wondrous time they were having,” Tommy hated it.

--

Tommy was allowed to go to school on Monday, but with a specific set of rules Dream had given him.

  1. Don’t talk to Tubbo or Ranboo
  2. Keep to yourself
  3. Check in with Dream every other period in the bathroom

 

Tommy could do that, it was easy! So he shakily walked into the school with Dream right by his side, it seemed he wouldn’t be leaving Tommy’s side either, not till they got to first period at least. He saw Tubbo and avoided any interaction at all, and he was successful, till Dream left him alone,

 

“Hey bossman! Haven’t seen you in a while,” Tubbo pointed out, Tommy nodded smally. “So what did you do this weekend?” He asked, Tommy debated whether or not to answer,

 

“Hung out with Dream,” he mumbled, barely audible. Tubbo nodded, he looked normal although there was something off by him, just slight and Tommy couldn’t figure it out. He almost seemed nervous? But what would Tubbo be nervous about, Tommy wasn’t sure-

 

A hand on his shoulder, squeezing tightly

 

“Tubbo stop bothering him,” he said calmly, Tubbo almost sneered at him,

 

“I’m not bothering him, we were just talking!” Tubbo looked at Tommy, “right Tommy?” It was a genuine question. Tommy shrunk into his clothes and didn’t answer, Dream glared at Tubbo almost with a sense of self-satisfaction 

 

“I think you should go,” he said, Tubbo begrudgingly walked away from the two giving Dream a hard stare. There was a small, yet hard tug on Tommy’s shirt

 

“You can’t follow simple rules can you?” He snarled quietly into the boy's ear so no one else could hear. Dream angrily left Tommy’s first period so he could walk to his own, leaving ommy boiling in his own anxiety of what Dream was going to do.

--

It was their first checkpoint of the day, Tommy approached Dream in the school bathroom. They both stared at each other silently,

 

“We’re skipping today,” Dream stated, simply grabbing Tommy by the arm and dragging him out of the bathroom. Tommy sputtered a bit, he had never skipped class before

 

“B,,But Dream I have a test in this class-”

 

“You can make it up later, now c’mon,” He said and pushed open the door to leave the building. Tommy looked at the school building behind him, he didn’t want to leave school, especially not with Dream- no Dream was great, who was Tommy kidding he should be thankful. 

 

Dream mostly drove around, but stopped in a weird parking lot where it was only his car there, Tommy thought it was probably an abandoned building. Dream shuffled around his jacket pocket before pulling out a small white box, Tommy immediately knew what it was. His dad smoked all the time despite Tommy’s lung issues, he hated the smell and swore to himself that he would never smoke.

 

“Take one,” Dream shoved a cigarette in his hand, Tommy froze as Dream took one for himself and lit it with the flickr of a lighter.

 

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“Thomas, go get me another pack from the counter!”

 

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“Tommy, pay attention you have to blow out,”

 

Tommy felt the smoke in his lungs and teared up at it, a mix of sadness and from not blowing out. He coughed wildly as he blew out the smoke,

 

“First timers,” Dream scoffed and blew out his own smoke.

 

They burned through their cigarettes by the end of the period and Dream drove Tommy back to school, Tommy had a new pit in his stomach to join the rest that had settled there.

 

“Tommy come here,” Dream ordered as Tommy was about to walk to his classroom, Tommy froze and walked over to him slowly. Very quickly a sharp slap met his cheek, and Tommy gasped in pain 

 

“That’s for breaking the rules earlier,” he said and went on his way. Tommy cradled his cheek and walked to his best class.

--

He was exiting the school building anxiously about to go to Dream’s care as he had instructed when Tommy woke up. Tommy was surprised when he saw Wilbur’s car in the school parking lot,

 

“Hey Toms! I’m picking you up today so we can get to work together, remember?” He called from his car, Tommy silently cursed to himself. He had completely forgotten about asking Wilbur to do this, he supposed he couldn’t deny him now. Tommy sent a quick text to Dream and got in the car.

 

Thankfully Wilbur didn’t smell any smoke on him and they made it to their work, Tommy was dreading seeing Sam. Sam always knew when something was wrong with Tommy, and always was able to convince Tommy to tell him what was wrong.

 

But Tommy couldn’t tell him, it was too risky, Tommy would get hurt and Dream would hurt his friends-

 

Tommy took a deep breath, it was fine. He just had too stand his ground, he wouldn’t pussy out this time.

Work was going terribly.

 

Tommy was paranoid, and sluggish from no sleep, and Wilbur had noticed asking him if he was ok. Tommy had answered a little too quickly that he was fine, 

 

Tommys lungs were extra bad from running as well, he had been wheezing while cooking and promptly put it in the front of the store to get him away from the stuffy kitchen.

 

Tommy had been wiping down the counter when he heard the door to the employees area open,

 

“Tommy, please come back here,”

 

Tommy's stomach promptly dropped as he shuffled his way to the back room.

 

“Hey Sam,” he greeted nervously, Tommy was hyper aware of his heart beat as it was pumping loudly in his ears. He tried his best to limit his breathing, as he had been breathing heavily all day. He just noticed that Wilbur was in the back too, Tommy was about to make an intervention joke but he didn’t even get to begin his sentence.

 

“Tommy you’ve been acting weird all day, are you alright kiddo-“

 

“I’m fine!” Tommy yelled too quickly, it was barely a millisecond after he heard Sam speak that he answered. Both men were silent in front of Tommy before Wilburs lips curled up,

 

“W,,What is that smell?” He sniffed the air again, it reminded Tommy of seeing dogs on TV. Then Sam blinked in shock,

 

“Is that cigarette smoke?” Tommy began to panic at their words, he knew they knew where the smell was coming from. Tommy held himself back from running out of the room and never returning to the restaurant. He wasn’t sure if he could handle the disappointment in their voices, his heart would shatter into a million pieces. 

 

Then the question came that Tommy had been dreading,

 

“Tommy, were you smoking?” Wilbur asked in disbelief. Tommy stayed silent, he didn’t look Wilbur nor Sam in the eyes, he couldn’t. His fingernails dug into his palms as he tried to steady his breathing, a comforting hand was placed on his shoulder.

 

“Kiddo?” That was Tommy's breaking point, he broke into small, choked cries, hiding his face in his hands. He felt awful, he was burdening these two with his problems, he should’ve just denied the ride from Wilbur and gone with Dream.

 

“ ‘m sorry ‘m sorry,” he hiccuped through his sobs, “I didn’t want to— he made me, he-“ Tommy blubbered apologies, and tried to tell them that he didn’t want to do it. He was just so scared of Dream he couldn’t say no, it had all been just too much-. 

 

“Who made you do it?” Sam asked, Tommy looked up confused as his brain didn’t register the question, “who made you smoke the cigarette buddy?” He asked more gently this time. Tommy guiltily mumbled out Dream's name, he felt bad about snitching, but he felt even worse about lying.

 

“He just- I couldn’t say no or else he would,,” Tommy didn’t let himself continue the sentence, he realized what he would be admitting. 

 

“What would he do Toms?” Wilbur asked seriously, Tommy gulped,

 

“He would hurt me,” he said, his voice cracking, “again…” he whispered out. Tommy looked up to see Sam and Wilbur looking seriously fucking pissed,

 

“I-I’m sorry, I’ll never smoke again-“ he began to profusely apologize. Sam stood up from where he was at,

 

“Don’t apologize Tommy, just get back to work for now,” Sam opened the door to go back out to the main area of the restaurant, “you’re not in trouble,” he finished in a much nicer voice. Tommy breathed out in relief, he began to stand up as well but he was pushed back down into his seat.

 

“Why don’t we take an extra long break today, eh Toms?” Wilbur leaned towards the mini fridge in the room and slid Tommy a soda. Tommy widened his eyes happily at the fizzy drink and smiled,

 

“Hell yeah!”

Sam walked back into the restaurant a couple hours later, Tommy and Wilbur had left, their shifts long over. Apparently Tommy went to Wilburs house for the night, Sam was glad he didn’t want Tommy alone with Dream out there. 

 

Sam would never lay his hands on a kid, usually, this time was an exception. He hadn’t done anything horrible to Dream, just shook him up a bit, metaphorically and literally.

 

Sam grabbed the near adult by the collar and lifted him against the brick wall of the alleyway Sam caught him in.

 

“W-What the hell?” Dream had the wind knocked out of him as he got lifted by the taller man, “who are you?”. Sam held back a smirk as he tried to remain serious,

 

“Do you know a Tommy by chance?” Sam asked , knowing damn well Dream knew the answer. Dream nodded profusely,

 

“Y-Yeah we’re friends!” Dream began to breathe faster than before. Sam scoffed and shove him into the wall one more time for good measure,

 

“Never speak to him again, or you’re going to have to deal with much worse than this,” Sam growled out. Dream nodded swiftly and Sam let him go, his breathing began to slow down to a normal pace.

 

Sam walked out of the alleyway, shoot Dream a harsh glare on his way for good measure

Tommy was terrified to go to school the next day, Wilbur drove him though so he was a lot less nervous. He had practiced with him how he was going to apologize to Tubbo and Ranboo, he was hoping it would go well. 

 

It was a couple minutes before first period and Tommy stood in the bathroom anxiously. He didn’t want to be traveling all around the school, in fear of seeing him . Wilbur had told him not to worry and that if anything happened he and Sam would know, and take care of it.

 

“Tommy,” a familiar voice stood at the entrance of the bathroom, Tommy froze in his spot. He shakily turned to see that same god damn green hoodie,

 

“D,,Dream,” he tried to say confidently. Dream drummed his fingers on the side of his legs as he approached the boy.

 

“So you snitched on me to your fake dad, huh?” He didn’t sound mad, annoyed was a better word. As if this whole situation got in the way of things, like he could be doing anything better with his life. Tommy didn’t understand, he didn’t answer either, he stood there nervously in an awkward ‘ready to run’ position that in reality would get him nowhere.

 

“I thought I taught you to address me when I’m talking to you,” Dream had the same tone of voice as when Tommy had to spend the weekend at his house, like he owned Tommy. 

“Instead you’re doing that stupid little shaky breath thing, god it makes me want to strangle you,” he snarled, making choking motions with his hands. Tommy’s heart started beating faster, Dream wouldn’t kill him would he? Sure he seemed awfully angry right now, but he wouldn’t actually kill Tommy, right?

 

“See you keep doing it!” Dream fumed and launched his hands at Tommys throat, Tommy didn’t have the reflexes to fight back. 

“You keep fucking pushing Tommy,” Dream pressed his hands tighter around his muses throat, “and never know when to stop,” he squeezed tighter when he emphasized the last word. 

 

Tommy clawed at the older boy's hands trying desperately to get them off. He could feel something flowering in his lungs and throat, another asthma attack from having the wind knocked out of him. This was quite possibly the worst timing for that as his throat was literally being crushed.

 

“d,,dre,,m,” Tommy tried to call out only to be shoved into the wall harder, the hands around his throat growing tighter. Tommy hated that this was going to be how he died, in a school bathroom being choked while having an asthma attack. 

 

Tommy stopped fighting and went limp in Dreams' hands, his vision was blurred and blackening. He was being held up by his throat, which Tommy learned was not a fun way to be held. But nevertheless, Dream didn’t stop, Tommy was definitely going to die. His eyes rolled to the back of his head as he felt himself slipping out of the world. Whether he was going to return was a mystery to him, he didn’t know whether or not he wanted to come back or not.

 

Then a weight was lifted off him, off his throat specifically. Tommy had no strength to lift himself off the ground he fell into, was he dead? There were panicked murmurs he could briefly hear, they were annoying him, he wanted to take a nap. A sudden tiredness had grown over him, and he was one for letting it win. But the fingers snapping in his face did not agree with him.

 

“Come on Bossman stay awake, just for a bit longer,” Tubbo’s voice was familiar, it was safe, but why was he here? Tommy had hurt Tubbo, he didn’t deserve his help, why couldn’t he just fall asleep? He closed his eyes and felt himself go light again, but the heavy weight of himself quickly returned to him as water dropped on his face. 

 

“Nope, you’re staying awake,” Tubbo said, Tommy heard him order something that he couldn’t quite make out. Suddenly though he was being lifted over the ground and sat upright by familiar lanky arms, he briefly saw Ranboo’s face.

 

It wasn’t long after that he heard many more people entering the bathroom, some in blue uniforms, others in white. He was glad to be acquainted with the ones in white, they lifted him into a loud white car and drove him in it. They promised him safety and life, he didn’t know how they could give him that last one, he had already completely fucked his, but he’d let them wish.

Tommy awoke with a gasp in a setting that he had been in many years ago, a hospital. He sat up and took a wheezy breath, he looked around his room, he was alone. 

 

“Yeah— yeah alright doctor!” He heard Tubbos' voice at the doorway of the room. Soon he heard footsteps approaching the bed he laid in,

 

“Oh shit- you’re awake!” Tubbo said happily, walking to his bedside, “Are you ok?”  He asked. Tommy nodded, his throat hurt, he tried to open his mouth to talk but pain shot through him, forcing him to stop. Tubbo laughed awkwardly,

 

“Yeah, you won’t be able to talk for a bit, Dream really did some damage,” Tubbo sounded sad while talking, and Tommy brought his hands to his throat brushing over it, flinching back at the bruises he felt. “Oh!! But the doctor did give us a white board for you to communicate on while you can’t talk,” Tubbo excitedly handed him a white board with a red marker. Tommy knew exactly what he was going to write. 

 

I’m sorry 

 

“What? Bossman, who're you apologizing to?” Tubbo asked, Tommy pointed at him and Tubbo looked a bit shocked. “What are you apologizing for?” He questioned,

 

I was a dick a couple days ago

 

“Well a bit, but honestly I wasn’t that mad,” he admitted, that relieved Tommy. Tommy relaxed his shoulders and let himself slink down onto the bed, “He’s in jail now ya know.. Or waiting to go on trial,” Tommy almost snickered, that fucker deserved it after what he did.

“Yeah it was really funny how it went down…”

--

Tubbo kicked his feet, bored in his first period class. He slyly pulled out his phone and opened up his and Ranboo’s dms,

 

NUKE_BITCH: Go to the bathroom, the one near the library

 

Memory_no_more: ok, why?

 

NUKE_BITCH: cuz i’m bored

 

Tubbo raised his hand and asked to go to the bathroom, to which his teacher agreed. He bounced throughout the hallway till he got to the bathroom near the library, he saw Ranboo who had just rounded the corner. They silently nodded at each other before opening the door to a sight they did not expect to see, someone who looked like a senior, choking out someone their age.

 

Ranboo immediately charged the older kid, knocking into him from the side. It was just then when Tubbo saw the two boys faces in the altercation, Dream and Tommy,. It seemed Ranboo did too as he was not going easy throwing Dream across the bathroom, the perks of having a friend who is 6’7 and still growing is they tower over everyone! 

 

Tubbo looked at Tommy, who had purple and red hand marks printed on his neck, whose face was purple.Tubbo panickedly made sure he was breathing, and he was, it was gentle shallow breaths but still breathing. Tubbo pulled out his phone and called 911 quickly explaining the situation, 

 

“Is the danger restrained sir?” Tubbo looked back to see Ranboo with his foot planted on Dreams' back, using his arms to limit Dreams' mobility.

“Yeah, he is,” Tubbo confirmed, it wasn’t long till he heard many people march into the bathroom, that he let himself relax just a little bit. People took Tommy out on a stretcher and Dream was in police custody.

March 12th, 2021

Sam’s Steak Shack

 

Tommy has had lung issues since he was eight years old, and probably before that Phil just didn’t notice it. Tommy hadn’t called his dad ‘dad’ since he was twelve years old. Tommy hadn’t had a day of not worrying about paying rent since red horns jutted out of his head, poking just above his hair. The day Tommy found out he was a bastard. Tommy hasn’t had a day where he couldn’t feel his hands around his neck since he was fourteen.

 

Tommy had grown an anxiety around flowers, he didn’t know why, just one day he couldn’t stand to be around them. They made him feel like he was going to die, quite literally he would collapse into quick breaths. They ruled out any allergies when Sam had taken him to the doctor (that man had taken him there too many times), the doctors just said to avoid them. 

 

Tommy wheezed a breath as he clocked into his shift, he waved hi to Sam who was at the front counter. Tommy had his inhaler in his pocket, today was a bad day for his asthma. He knew this when he woke up and was already wheezing, he didn’t tell Sam this or else he’d be forced to take off. 

 

His lungs had always been bad, but for some reason they had just been so much worse within the last year. Dream had permanently damaged his breathing as well, a crushed windpipe and severe asthma was not a fun combo. Granted Tommy was able to get the surgery to help with the whole crushed windpipe, but it didn’t fix everything and still affected him to this day. 

 

“Hey Toms!” Wilbur's voice pulled him from his thoughts,

 

“Hey Wil!” Tommy brought him into a quick hug patting him on the back. When Wilbur patted him back, Tommy wheezed a bit, Wilbur looked at him concerned.

 

“Are you alright tommy?” He asked and began to fuss over the boy, “do you need to go home— I swear you never rest when you’re sick so you-“ Tommy forced a laugh and a reassuring look.

 

“Wil, Wil! I’m ok, I promise!” He flashed Wilbur a confident look, Wilbur begrudgingly nodded

 

“Alright.. but if you feel bad at any point during the day you go to the back room!” He ordered. Tommy saluted him before walking to the kitchen to start cooking.

Tommy didn’t work in the kitchen for too long, the smoke ended up being too much for him that day. Tommy was told to wipe off the counters for his shift, he could tell Sam knew something was up with his lungs.

 

With every swipe of his arm he felt his chest tighten and wheeze left his body. He didn’t know why today was such a difficult day. He paused wiping to cough to the side, not an uncommon occurrence for him. 

 

But this time as he coughed he found he couldn’t stop. His eyes widened as he crumpled to the floor, the rag in his hands falling to the ground next to him. He coughed raggedly, and wheezed wildly on the floor. Tommy used the table to hoist himself to his feet, dragging himself to the back room where he promised Wilbur he’d go.

 

Everytime Tommy walked in the back room he chuckled a bit, it hadn’t changed one bit since he had first been here when he was little. He staggered to the trash can in the room, his whole body trembling wildly, he knew he wasn’t going to be able to make it to any chair.

 

So he laid on the floor over the trashcan like a child who had just woken up in the middle of the night not feeling well. Not like he would know really, Phil never helped him with anything, he had to soothe himself during late night stomach aches. 

 

Tommy was shocked as he felt something come barreling down his throat, not throw up, no this was different. It was light, but solid, smooth in texture, he didn’t know what it was till he stared in horror at the flower petals in the trash can below him. Tommy wheezed again, barely able to process what had just happened. He had read about something like this before, they had a small unit on it in class a while ago. Hanahaki disease… the name flashed in his mind, caused by unrequited love, platonic or romantic . But who? Tommy was clueless to who this unrequited love could be, he had never had to worry about romance, and all of his “platonic loves” were requited to his knowledge. 

 

Another scratchy cough left the teen and more petals slowly floated their way from his mouth to the trash can. There is no cure to Hanahaki disease that we are aware of as of now, other than the person returning feelings to the sick one. Panic shot through Tommy as his textbooks words bounded in his mind, who did he love that didn’t love him back? 

 

Sam had cared for him his entire childhood, more than his real father ever did, he was off the list. Tubbo and Ranboo were his best friends, they had been with each other through thick and thin, there wasn’t a fight they never solved. Wilbur, he was like the older brother Tommy never had, always fussing over him and making sure he took care of himself. Then who-?

 

It hit Tommy like a truck, like the worst slap in the face ever. 

Phil

 

More and more multi-colored petals found their way into the bin below Tommy. That was when Tommy realized he was going to die that day. 

 

Because Phil had never seen him as a son as much as he wanted him to, Tommy didn’t think he ever would. They would never have a father son bond like he had with Sam. Not a day would go by where Phil didn’t resent him for existing. 

 

So now Tommy retched into the bin in front of him, he would say he breathed in but he didn’t, no rather couldn’t . Vines wrapped their ways around Tommy's throat, their flowers blooming into the only remaining space left. Tommy had tried so hard to keep himself up and going, but now look at him, in the back rooms of a restaurant dying, literally fucking dying. 

 

And his co-workers we’re gonna find his body, slumped against a trash can and his mouth agape, a vine with flowers all around it coming out of his mouth like some sick fucked up waterfall. 

 

Tommy couldn’t do much about it, he was too weak to run and get help, and yelling was completely out of the question. So he just settled down on the tiled floor and held the trash can close to him because he had cleaned these floors too many times for him to dirty it up with his flowers. 

 

He thought about his life for a moment, because a moment was all he had.

“Hey Will have you seen Tommy at all?” Sam asked from the front counter, it was a slow day in the shop, only the three of them had been working. Wilbur shook his head,

 

“I haven’t,” he paused, “check the back, I think his asthma was bad today and I told him to go there if he felt bad,” Sam nodded ignoring the blooming nervousness that grew in his stomach. Tommy had been sick as long as Sam knew him, lung problems, severe asthma that affected his everyday life. Sam closed his hand around the door knob and pulled the door open.

 

“Hey Tommy! Are you alright bud—“ he cut himself off with a horrified gasp, “ TOMMY ” Sam had never screamed so loud. 

 

Tommy was leaning over the trash can, flowers were blooming from his mouth in a horrifically beautiful pattern. Sam would’ve thought he was dead if it wasn’t for the small movements of his back going up and down. Wilbur burst in the room only moments after him,

 

“Sam what’s happened?!” He asked panickedly. Sam didn’t even answer him only turning around with a petrified look in his eyes,

 

“Call the fucking ambulance!” He screamed. Wilbur didn’t hesitate to bring out his phone, he fumbled a bit in his panic but soon was on the phone getting help. 

Sam sat in the lobby of a hospital reading a pamphlet on something called Hanahaki disease . Something fairly rare, it was caused by unrequited love, platonic or romantic. It was only in the most severe cases of unrequited love, the only cure was for the other person to return the love. 

 

Apparently there was a surgery now, one that Tommy was under. He had been misdiagnosed at a young age, told he has severe asthma, turns out the Hanahki just hasn’t developed enough.

 

Sam's head yelled at him for not noticing, for not getting Tommy help sooner. Another part of his brain told him there was no way he could’ve known. Sam didn’t know which to believe.

“Sam..?” Tommy croaked out from a hospital bed, he hated how many times he had been here before. Sam looked down at him teary eyed,

 

“Hey kiddo,” he wanted to hug him but he didn’t know if physical touch would be right in the situation. Tommy took in clear deep breaths for the first time ever, his throat was cleared and his lungs didn’t feel clogged.

 

Tommy blinked out tears of happiness,

 

“Sam I can breathe,” he smiled, Sam nodded happily and brushed the teens hair out of his face,

 

“Yeah buddy, you can!” He began to cry out of happiness too. Tommy pulled Sam into a hug, Sam didn’t protest he just hugged him back tighter than ever before.

April 17th, 2021

Nook household 

 

Phil Watson was charged with child neglect and abuse on April 12th 2021, his son, Thomas Watson was put into the custody of Samuel Nook.

 

“Not used to being on the front cover of the newspaper,” Tommy slid the paper over to Sam, Sam hummed while reading it. 

 

“Well, I’m just glad you’re here with me kiddo,” he slid pancakes onto Tommy's breakfast plate. Tommy smiled and stabbed his pancakes,

 

“So am I,”